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Biden says January 6 committee has made an ‘overwhelming’ case

<i>Carolyn Kaster/AP</i><br/>President Joe Biden speaks in Portland
Carolyn Kaster/AP
President Joe Biden speaks in Portland

By Betsy Klein and Shawna Mizelle, CNN

President Joe Biden said on Saturday the video and testimony shared at the January 6 hearing this week was “devastating” and said the committee overall has made an “overwhelming” case.

Asked his thoughts on the hearing during an unannounced stop at a Baskin-Robbins in Portland, Oregon, Biden said, “I think the testimony, the video are absolutely devastating. And I’ve been going out of my way not to comment, see what happens, but it’s just — I think it’s been devastating.”

The final hearing ahead of the midterms from the House Select Committee investigating the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, revealed new evidence and testimony from former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, who said that then-President Donald Trump knew he had lost his bid for reelection even as he continued efforts to overturn the results.

Thursday’s hearing included footage of congressional leaders scrambling to respond to the attack on the Capitol as they took refuge by working around Trump and coordinating with other federal and local government officials to thwart the ongoing violence and new evidence of a Trump plan to declare victory regardless of the election results.

“I mean, the case has been made, it seems to me fairly overwhelming,” Biden said on Saturday.

Saturday’s comments are an escalating rebuke from the President who does not regularly comment on January 6.

Biden, who has often said he won’t interfere in the independence of the Justice Department, declined to comment further and reiterated that he had not spoken to Attorney General Merrick Garland on the matter “at all.”

In a rare move, the January 6 committee also voted on Thursday to subpoena Trump for documents and testimony. It is not expected that the former President will comply with the subpoena, but the action serves as a way for the committee to set down a marker and show that it wants information directly from Trump as the panel investigates the attack.

The select committee’s investigation is working toward a final report, though it’s still not clear what shape that will take or when it might be released. Sources say the panel has also not yet made any decision on whether to make any criminal referrals to the Department of Justice.

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